For Immediate Release June 13, 2006
Contact: Fernando Senra 850-245-4111
**Tropical Storm Alberto Information Sheet**
Department of Health Warns of Risks After the Storm
Food safety: Preventing food-borne diseases
- The Department of
Health advises that individuals should not eat any food that may
have come into contact with contaminated water from floods or tidal
- Commercially prepared cans of food should not be eaten if
there is a bulging or opening on the can or the screw caps, soda pop
bottle tops or twist-caps.
- Undamaged, commercially canned foods
can be saved if you remove the labels and then disinfect the cans in
a bleach solution. Use ¼ cup of bleach in one gallon of water;
re-label the cans including expiration date and type of food. Assume
that home-canned food is unsafe.
- Infants should be fed only
pre-mixed canned baby formula. Do not use powdered formulas prepared
with treated water. Use boiled water when preparing formula.
Frozen and refrigerated foods can be unsafe after a tropical storm.
When the power is out, refrigerators will keep foods cool for only
about four hours. Thawed and refrigerated foods should be thrown out
after four hours.
Sanitation and Hygiene: Preventing waterborne illness
hygiene is very important during this emergency period. Always wash
your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected
before eating, after toilet use, after participating in cleanup
activities and after handling articles contaminated by floodwater or
- Flooding that occurs after the tropical storm may mean
that water contains fecal matter from sewage systems, agricultural
and industrial waste and septic tanks. If you have open cuts or
sores exposed to the floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by
washing them with soap and disinfected or boiled water. Apply
antibiotic ointment to reduce the risk of infection. If a wound or
sore develops redness, swelling or drainage, see a physician.
not allow children to play in floodwater. They can be exposed to
water contaminated with fecal matter. Do not allow children to play
with toys that have been in floodwater until the toys have been
disinfected. Use ¼ cup of bleach in one gallon of water to disinfect
toys and other items.
Power Outages: Preventing fire hazards
- Using battery-powered
lanterns and flashlights is preferable to using candles.
- If you
must use candles, make sure you put them in safe holders away from
curtains, paper, wood, or other flammable items.
Clearing Standing Water: Preventing mosquito-borne Illness
- Heavy rains and flooding can lead to an increase in mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and sunset. Public health
authorities will be working actively to control the spread of any
diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.
- To protect against mosquitoes, DOH urges the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito
protection efforts. These should include the “5 D’s” for prevention:
- Dusk and Dawn – Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking
blood. For many species, this is during the dusk and dawn hours.
Dress – Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
- DEET – When
the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents
containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or
N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) are recommended. Picaridin and oil of
lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options.
- Drainage – Check
around your home to rid the area of standing water, which is where
mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
Tips on Repellent Use
- Always read label directions carefully
for the approved usage before applying a repellent to skin. Some
repellants are not suitable for children.
- Products with
concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are generally recommended.
Other potential mosquito repellents, as reported by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in April 2005, contain
picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. These products are generally
available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be
listed on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed
skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
- In protecting
children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is
age-appropriate. According to the CDC, mosquito repellents
containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children
under the age of 3 years. DEET is not recommended on children
younger than 2 months old.
- Infants should be kept indoors or
mosquito netting should be used over carriers when mosquitoes are
- Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children.
Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then
transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.
- If additional
protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to
your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites Elimination of
breeding sites is one of the keys to prevention.
- Clean out eaves,
troughs and gutters.
- Remove old tires or drill holes in those used
in playgrounds to drain.
- Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
- Check tarps on boats or
other equipment that may collect water.
- Pump out bilges on boats.
- Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes
at least once a week.
- Change water in plant trays, including
hanging plants, at least once a week.
- Remove vegetation or
obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
For further information, please contact your local county health
department or visit
The Florida Emergency Information Line: 1-800-342-3557. Public
Information Emergency Support Function: 850-921-0384.